Second PLQ debate focuses on integrity, governance, federalism
Published Sunday, January 20, 2013 4:24PM EST
Last Updated Monday, January 21, 2013 7:54AM EST
QUEBEC CITY - The three contenders for Quebec’s top Liberal job faced off again Sunday in the second of five leadership debates.
The French-language debate, which took place in Quebec City, focused on integrity, governance and federalism.
When it came to governing and restoring public confidence the key is a code of ethics, said Raymond Bachand.
Pierre Moreau said this doesn’t go far enough.
“We should, among other things, ask the future heads of Crown corporations to go before a parliamentary commission,” he said, adding that the Charbonneau Commission should be a permanent fixture.
Philippe Couillard proposed more transparency when it comes to contracts.
People should be able to see the development of the contract in terms of budget and deadlines,” he said.
As for federalism, all three candidates said they would continue to fight for Quebec's interests within Canada.
They each reaffirmed their their to Canada, adding that there is some negotiating to do with Ottawa.
“Our relationship can be perfected,” said Couillard.
In terms of the province’s finances, both Bachand and Moreau are in favour of tax decreases and user fees, and all agree new sources of revenue are needed.
After this second debate, it seems clear the race isn’t about ideas, but rather personality, said political analyst Jean Lapierre.
“You won't be able to judge them on their policies because they are all the same, so that's why it's an advantage for Mr. Couillard,” he said. “He's already perceived as the front runner and in those debates, if nobody goes for his jugular then he's smiling to victory.”
The new provincial Liberal leader will be chosen March 17.